Eco-Friendly Lawn Mowers

Mowing the Lawn with Green Lawn Mowers

When you mow the lawn and inhale deeply, you’ll probably smell more then the aroma of fresh cut grass.  You’ll probably also smell gas fumes, unless you use a push mower.  Lawn mowers do not use the same type of engines as cars or trucks.(1) Lawn mower engines do not come with catalytic converters or other smog reducing features. 

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the average gas powered mower creates as much pollution after one hour of operations as eight new cars traveling at 55 mph for one hour.  Along with air pollution, most gas powered mowers are also very loud, even with a muffler, and add to the noise pollution in most neighborhoods.

There are several options for push mowers available, however if you have a large area that needs mowing, these mowers probably will not meet your needs.  If you decide to keep your gas mower, there are several things you can do to reduce pollution and improve your gas mowers efficiency.  Let’s take a look.

 

Green Tips for Gas Lawn Mowers

  • Regular maintenance.  Your lawn mower, just like your car, needs regular maintenance.  Make sure to change the oil, clean or replace the air filter, and tune up the mower per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Keep your blades sharp.  Dull blades cut slower and use more gas.
  • Clean debris out from underneath mower.  Grass clipping, sticks, vines and other waste can build up under the mower’s deck.  This can make the mower less efficient.  Caution: When you clean under the deck, always detach spark plug and all power sources.
  • Avoid spilling gas.  Don’t over fill tank and use a funnel when pouring gas into engine.  Spilled gas will evaporate and turn into air pollution.
  • Choose 4 stroke engines over 2 stroke engines.

There are now several good alternatives to gas mowers.  Many of these mowers are good choices for smaller yards.  If you have a larger yard, but would like to use an eco friendly mower, consider replacing some of your lawn with ground covers, rock gardens, or wood chip landscapes.  These are not your grandfather’s mowers.  They include engineering improvements that make them easier and smarter to use.

 

Eco-Friendly Lawn Mowers

  • Push lawn mowers - Modern innovation has greatly improved the manual rotary lawn mower.  Several models allow you to adjust the height of the blade and are ergonomically designed to make the job easierThe Fiskars mower is a good example of a modern manual lawn mower.
  • Electric lawn mowers - Electric mowers are cleaner then gas, but they use electricity that may be generated from gas or coal.  Electric mowers with cords are a bit of a hassle to use and the cordless models have batteries that must be recharged and recycled.
  • Solar lawn mowers - Solar power seems like the perfect solution. A solar mower is easier to use then a manual and uses renewable solar power instead of gas or electric power.  This is still newer technology, and the mower does require a little more effort then a gas mower, but it cuts greener then gas or electric and easier then manual. Check out the Solaris solar mower.






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References

1 Cleaner Yards, Dirtier Air? Retrieved May 13, 2010. Union of Concerned Scientists: http://www.ucsusa.org/publications/greentips/2006/cleaner-yards-dirtier-air.htm

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